On a research trip to Germany in 1995, I heard from U-boat veteran Georg Högel that an Admiral Hans Rösing was living in Kiel. I had been searching for German World War II submarine veterans for a couple of years and thought the admiral would be worth interviewing, so I decided to contact him. At the time, he was 89 years old, and I was concerned he might not be amenable to being questioned by an unknown female American author.
But the admiral enthusiastically accepted my proposal to visit him and record his wartime story. On 21 March 1995, I knocked at the door of his two-story house in a Kiel suburb and was greeted by the elderly Rösing and his wife, who ushered me into their living room. No sooner had we sat down than the admiral brought out a big scrapbook filled with photographs, so many that they encompassed most of his naval career—which was extensive. As Rösing turned each page, he reminisced about his days before and during the war, including his time as commander of U-boats West in France.
1. Interview with Hans-Rudolf Rösing, Kiel, Germany, 21 March 1995. (This and all subsequent quotations from Admiral Rösing are taken from author’s interview with him).
2. Eberhard Rössler, The U-boat: The Evolution and Technical History of German Submarines (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1989), 334.
3. Melanie Wiggins, Fatal Ascent: HMS Seal, 1940 (Staplehurst, UK: Spellmount Limited, 2006), 47, 48.
4. Jürgen Rohwer, Axis Submarine Successes 1939–1945 (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1983), 19, 20, 25, 26. Georg Högel, Embleme Wappen Malings: Deutscher U-Boote 1939–1945 (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1989), 45.
5. Michael Gannon, Operation Drumbeat: The Dramatic True Story of Germany’s First U-Boat Attacks Along the American Coast in World War II (New York: Harper & Row, 1990), 3.
6. Melanie Wiggins, U-Boat Adventures: Firsthand Accounts from World War II (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1999), 57–59.
7. Bundesarchiv Koblenz in Koblenz, Germany, has a large collection of photographs of the arrival and activities of I-30, as well as other U-boat photos.